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The big owners have three months from today to register their flats

A historic Housing Act comes into force that will oblige banks, vulture funds and companies to register their unoccupied properties and lease them.

The first Housing Law in the history of the Balearic Islands comes into force today after its publication yesterday in the BOIB. This means that the countdown has begun for large owners to register their properties in the Register of unoccupied housing for rent for a minimum of three years if the Government deems it necessary.

It is the great novelty of a regulation that seeks to make emerge empty housing banks, vulture funds and companies to give them to the IBAVI, which will incorporate them into its park of flats to rent to families at risk of social exclusion. The register will also serve to quantify how many empty flats exist in Mallorca. Today nobody knows the figure, but it is taken for granted that there are thousands of properties.

"The big tenedores of housing have the obligation to send to the competent council in the matter of housing the relation of unoccupied housings in order that they are inscribed in the Registry", reads the article 39 of the regulation. "In the list of housing will be recorded, at a minimum, its location, its useful surface, whether it is a free or publicly protected housing and, in this case, whether it is for sale or rent, the legal title and, where appropriate, the date of execution or dation in payment, and the cadastral reference of the housing, "adds.erlos in rent.

The Govern will investigate ex officio

The Government understands that a large holder is someone who owns ten or more homes and carries out an economic activity with them. In this way, it excludes those individuals who have more than ten homes as part of their patrimony and do not market them.

The large owners questioned by the new law have three months from today to register their properties in the general Directorate of Housing of the Government. Once this period has passed, the Balearic Executive will act ex officio to detect - and if necessary sanction - those tenants who have not informed of their unoccupied flats in time and form.

"The competent council on housing will carry out all the inspections and checks that are necessary to determine whether the houses effectively unoccupied are recorded in the Register," warns the new law.

The companies supplying gas, water and electricity, city councils, notaries and communities of owners, among others, will be "obliged" to collaborate in this investigation in order to find empty flats.

The Government justifies a measure such as this because of the lack of housing, especially rent, suffered by residents on the islands.

Failure to register an unoccupied housing is considered a "serious" infraction and will be punished with a fine ranging from 3,000 to 30,000 euros. Intentionality or repetition are factors that will mark the exact amount of the penalty.

The regulation incorporates other novel elements such as the guarantee that basic supplies such as water or electricity will not be cut to families with difficulties in paying. The companies will be obliged to inform the affected person before cutting off a supply. And it will not be carried out in the event that town councils and social services accredit the economic precariousness of the home.

Likewise, from today a free service of accompaniment to the citizen is born that will manage the IBAVI with the objective of advising those who are on the verge of an eviction - of mortgage or of rent - to inform them of their rights.

The law also explicitly recognizes the right to housing in situations of vulnerability and the obligation of the Administration to guarantee it. And the permanent qualification of VPO for new promotions of protected housing, so that they can never be sold in the free market.

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